Community Emergency Response Team

cert logo

This is the official web page for the Hazelwood Fire Department’s CERT program. Our goal is to provide information, a forum for discussion, and a point of contact between Community Emergency Response Teams and CERT members in the City of Hazelwood.

Do you have questions, ideas or suggestions? Let us know!

New to CERT or Not Yet CERT

Learn more! 

The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) is an all-risk, all-hazard training program. This valuable course is designed to help you protect yourself, your family, your neighbors and your neighborhood in an emergency situation. Our program is based on the idea of neighbor helping neighbor.

CERT members receive 17.5 hours (one day a week for 7 weeks) of initial training. Approximately 2.5 hours per class.

CERT is provided free of charge within the City of Hazelwood to anyone age 18 or older. 

To schedule a class for your group, you need a minimum of 20 people to be trained. Classes can be held at your location or at the Hazelwood Fire Station. For more information, please contact the Deputy Fire Marshal at (314) 513-5153.

What is CERT?

The City of Hazelwood prepares for everyday emergencies. However, during a disaster, the number and scope of incidents can overwhelm conventional emergency services. The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) is an all-risk, all-hazard training program. This valuable course is designed to help you protect yourself, your family, your neighbors and your neighborhood in an emergency situation.

CERT is a positive and realistic approach to emergency and disaster situations where citizens may initially be on their own and their actions can make a difference. While people will respond to others in need without the training, one goal of the CERT program is to help them do so effectively and efficiently without placing themselves in unnecessary danger. In the CERT training, citizens learn to:

  • manage utilities and put out small fires
  • treat the three medical killers by opening airways, controlling the bleeding, and treating for shock
  • provide basic medical aid
  • search for and rescue victims safely
  • organize themselves and spontaneous volunteers to be effective
  • collect disaster intelligence to support first responder efforts.

Why do the CERT Training?

Well, it’s like paying for car insurance. You might never need either; you hope not to.  But if the occasion arises, having the CERT training, just like having car insurance, means you’re as ready as you can be to help yourself, your family and your neighborhood.

Amateur Radio

Hazelwood CERT Radio Communications

CERT-RadioIn a regional emergency, like an earthquake or other disturbance, there’s a very good chance our communications systems will fail. Experience in other disasters and emergencies tell us that the cell phone system will fail, land line phones (if still connected) will work sporadically at best, and the Internet will generally be inaccessible. There’s a good chance the power will fail over significant areas for considerable time — for days, maybe. And if it’s a big earthquake, experts tell us communications and power could be out for many days — 10 or more. And if it’s a really big earthquake, it could be a week before any professional help arrives. We could be on our own to take care of ourselves and our neighbors, and that’s what CERT is all about.

This is an Emergency Communications Plan. It is designed to be used when normal communications are unavailable or inconvenient. If the cellular phone system is working and it is appropriate to do so, use your cell phones. If the 911 system is working and you see an incident that requires emergency services, call 911 to report your incident. When normal communications fail, the CERT Communications Plan provides an alternative communications path.

This Communications Plan will enable you and your CERT group to communicate with the City of Hazelwood through the communications center at the Hazelwood Fire Department at the Emergency Operations Center. You will be the eyes and ears and communicators for your incidents, and your participation could be invaluable.

We all know the Big One and other regional disruptions are coming and we all know that emergency services to our neighborhoods will be disrupted, possibly for days.

We can play an important role as the eyes and ears of the City of Hazelwood. The information we transmit through this Communications Plan will help the emergency managers understand the nature and scope of the emergency so they can plan their responses and allocate their resources efficiently. It will take commitment, training and practice, but we can do it.

Emergency/Evacuation Kit

This is a 10-Step process on how to put together an Emergency/Evacuation Kit, allowing one week to shop and pack for each step. It is a compilation of several different agencies’ lists broken down into an easier-to-shop format.

Week One: Water

What could be simpler? Because your home disaster kit will double as an emergency evacuation kit, make it as transportable as possible. Wal-Mart has a camping/sporting section with 6- and 7-gallon water containers. I chose the 7-gallon, cube-shaped container because there’s a spigot inside the lid. The tall, narrow, 6-gallon container has a spout inside its lid.  It’s up to you which one to choose.

Also, prepare and label a small, leak proof bottle of UNSCENTED household chlorine bleach (5.25% sodium hypochlorite) just in case. FEMA guidelines state: If you have questions about the quality of the water, purify it before drinking. 

Water Quantity Bleach Added

1 quart

4 drops

1 gallon

16 drops

5 gallons

1 teaspoon

Store your water container on the main level of your home where it will be immediately accessible for moving into the basement or putting into your car. Select a date 3-6 months out and make a note on your calendar to change the water and rotate the food you will be assembling in the coming weeks.

Week Two: The Container

CERT-EvacPhoto2smYour home emergency kit will double as an evacuation kit should the need arise. You don’t have to live near a chemical plant to experience an officer at your door telling you to evacuate immediately. Hazardous materials move via highway and railway. An accident can contaminate many square miles without warning, and lead to your evacuation. Remember your CERT training: “Be prepared.”

So, back to the store. You will be overwhelmed with a choice of storage containers unless you keep this in mind: You have to be able to pick it up and move it when it’s full. If you put canned food in it, and you will, it’ll get heavy fast.

Examine the lids. A lid that pops off in a wind/rainstorm isn’t worth much. Some fold over on top, leaving a nice crack down the center for rain water to seep in. (Hey, you never know.) Some “lock” on well enough to get jumbled around and still stay in place.

Another option is a cooler with wheels and a telescoping pull handle. Wal-Mart has 2 styles.  Place this in its new home on the main level, where it will be immediately accessible for moving into the basement or putting into your car. If you haven’t already, select a date 3-6 months out and make a note on your calendar to change the water and rotate the food you will be assembling in the coming weeks.

Week Three: Liquids

The American Red Cross brochure suggests a 3-day supply of items that require no refrigeration, preparation or cooking, and little or no additional water. Do I need to mention no glass containers? Include a selection of the following in your Home Emergency Kit:

  • Canned juices, milk, soup
  • Gatorade
  • Comfort foods: instant coffee, tea bags, soda
  • Formula or liquid supplements, if needed
  • Can opener or puncher for the above. Pick one up while you’re at the store.
  • Sterno, if you want to heat any of the above. Plus, a lighter or matches in waterproof container.

Week Four: Food

The American Red Cross brochure suggests a 3-day supply of items that require no refrigeration, preparation or CERT-EvacPhoto1smcooking, and little or no additional water. Include a selection of the following items in your Home Emergency Kit:

  • Ready-to-eat canned meats (like tuna) fruits and vegetables
  • Baby food
  • Special dietary needs
  • Staples: sugar, non-dairy creamer, salt, pepper
  • Pet food, same brand as always

You won’t need to date these items. But you will consume them in 6 months when you restock, so be sure to purchase what you and the family like to eat.

Week Five: High-Energy Food

Include a selection of high-energy food items in your Home Emergency Kit:

  • Peanut butter and crackers
  • Jelly
  • Granola bars
  • Trail mix
  • Comfort foods: cookies, hard candy, sweetened cereals, lollipops

Week Six: Supplies and Sanitation

A change of pace this week. Now that you have accumulated a stockpile of food, you’ll have a pretty good idea of what you need from the following list:

  • Paper cups, plates
  • Plastic utensils
  • Baby bottles, etc.
  • Trash bags
  • Toilet paper, towelettes, pop-ups
  • Soap, liquid detergent
  • Feminine supplies
  • Personal hygiene items
  • Plastic garbage bags and ties for personal sanitation use
  • Plastic bucket with tight lid
  • Disinfectant
  • Diapers. Remember, you’ll need to restock these (before the next rotation) as your infant outgrows them.

Week Seven: Special Items

  • Vitamins
  • Medication, prescription(s) and OTC
  • Denture needs
  • Contact lenses and supplies
  • Extra pair of eyeglasses

Ask your optometrist or opthalmologist for a copy of glasses and/or contact lens prescriptions. In an emergency, if the doctor’s office is out of commission, it will save time (and expenses) to get them replaced somewhere else.

Week Eight: Clothing & Bedding

Include at least one complete change of clothing and footwear per person. Obviously, all this stuff isn’t going to fit in your kit, but it should be considered. Reduce costs by packing worn or out-of-date items, as long as they’ll still do the job.

  • Sturdy shoes or work boots
  • Rain gear. Discount stores sell inexpensive ponchos.
  • Blankets or sleeping bags
  • Hats and gloves
  • Thermal underwear
  • Sunglasses

Week Nine: Entertainment

That’s right, entertainment!

  • Games and books for everyone
  • A deck of playing cards
  • Pencils and /or crayons and paper
  • Puzzle books
  • A recently outgrown toy can be considered an “old friend” by small children in a crisis situation.
  • Pets need to play and keep occupied, too

Week Ten: First Aid Kit

Include a comprehensive selection of the following items:

  • Assorted sizes of band-aids, sterile gauze pads, sterile roller bandages
  • Hypoallergenic, water-resistant adhesive tape
  • Triangular bandage
  • Scissors
  • Tweezers
  • Needle
  • Moistened towelettes
  • Antiseptic
  • Polysporin or similar product
  • Safety pins
  • Cleansing agent/soap
  • Latex gloves, 2 pair
  • Sunscreen
  • Nail file, clippers
  • Thermometer
  • Tongue blades

Links and Supplies

Federal Emergency Management Agency –

State Emergency Management Agency –

Skywarn –

SKYWARN Training

The objective of the SKYWARN program is to train and maintain volunteers to be severe weather observers, providing vital services in times of severe weather. Our training schedule provides details on the most comprehensive training seminars in the region. This fine program has been in operation since 1975.

 For your home/away emergency kit has MRE’s that are really good.  They have a good price and great service. They advertise on The Weather Channel.

A source for battery-less flashlights, any fuel/alcohol lanterns, and multi-freq hand-crank and solar-powered radios can be found at

Meals Ready to Eat, otherwise known to the military as MRE’s, are dehydrated rations and are perfect for emergency food stores. They are not canned, rather they come in sealed packets. You just add water. They are available through mail order and at surplus stores.  Also at

Quake Kare is another source for supplies. Plus, they have good ideas and plans to survive disasters.

Safety at home

Federal Alliance for Safe Homes has some straightforward, interesting information on earthquakes, tornadoes, lightning, floods, extreme temperatures, hail, wildfires, etc.  It also offers good overviews and flashcards on how to prepare your home, mitigate damage and so on.

Joining Hazelwood’s CERT Program

We invite you to become an active member of Hazelwood’s CERT program and be among the first to be called into action to help your family, neighbors and friends whenever a disaster or emergency situation hits our community.  Any Hazelwood resident age 18 or older can participate.  Simply click the link below to download our CERT program application form and print it out on your computer.  Then spend a few minutes filling out the form and mail it in.  You can also drop it off at our department’s headquarters at Fire Station #2, located at 6800 Howdershell Road in Hazelwood.  

Click here to download and print Hazelwood CERT application form 







Hazelwood Photo Contest